A number of surprising faces found themselves in the top 10 following the first round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Watkins Glen International Friday. Clint Bowyer (127.067 mph) topped the charts after the opening 80-minute practice session while defending race winner AJ Allmendinger (126.901) was second.
Paul Menard (125.713), David Ragan (125.528), Brad Keselowski (125.419), Kyle Busch (125.121) and Austin Dillon (125.074) were sixth through tenth. Practice ran rather uneventfully save for two issues for Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Busch and Denny Hamlin. Busch spun but received no damage, while Hamlin had fueling issues. “The car just stumbles and it’s not accelerating,” he radioed to his team. “I think I’m out of gas.”
Tony Stewart, who will be attempting his first race at WGI since 2012, placed 14th with a lap of 124.488 mph.
The Sprint Cup cars will return to the track for final practice at 4:40.